Friday, February 12, 2010

Adding to the Fact File on Les Puryear

A minor dust-up has taken place in SBC blogging life regarding Les Puryear. Les has been blogging recently on the topic of Antinomianism (see here, here, here, and here), at which topic he arrived by way of a discussion of tithing.

Now Les has come under the sort of mean-spirited personal attack that has far too often characterized Southern Baptist blogging since I began reading SBC blogs in 2006. Les's personal correspondence has been re-routed and misused by people with no honor. The use of this material has occurred in a manner calculated to malign Les. Les has now given a full explanation of what REALLY happened. People will challenge the veracity of Les's account, you can count on that.

I have one piece of information to offer as corroboration of what Les has written. Before anyone else published anything about what Les was doing, Les telephoned me to ask me if I would be interested in authoring a scholarly rebuttal of Köstenberger's paper. Les and I don't speak by telephone often (maybe three or four times ever in our lives), so it is easy to recall the details. I declined to write the paper and directed him to other people who might be interested or might already have been working on similar projects (because this kind of subject matter is important to them). The facts of our telephone conversation line up perfectly with Les's explanation of what was happening in his interaction with Dr. Daniel Akin at SEBTS, in which he mentioned the scholarly rebuttal as something that grew out of his subsequent interaction with Dr. Akin.

Oh, and before you come to the conclusion that I'm just sticking up for a blogging-buddy, I would like to point out that my relationship with Les Puryear has been tense—very tense—rather than warm and cuddly. You might consider this post, which I took as an attack piece upon myself personally and which misrepresented my personal beliefs and practices (an action which I'm willing to regard as a mistake on Les's part). Look at the comment thread on that one and see how warm it got. And then, not long afterwards, I prematurely outed Les's 2008 bid for the SBC Presidency and then flatly opposed his election (see here and here).

In my original post outing Les's candidacy, I wondered out loud whether Les was an Antinomian (you'll find that little tidbit if you read the post). I'd say that question has been answered! I apologize, Les, for misunderstanding you. And I think now you see why I was on the lookout for Antinomians in our midst back then. You don't have to look very far.

I imagine that Les Puryear and I will disagree on many more things in the future, but I've always tried to be honest about him and to be honest with him. Les is not a part of my "camp" or anything, but I count him as a brother and I'm hopeful that he is someone independent who has come to see a difference between the way our "camp" operates and the way that others conduct business in the SBC.

Was Les trying to get Köstenberger fired? I don't think that Les wrote that letter to get Köstenberger fired any more than people who tint windows for a living are trying to extinguish the Sun. People who tint windows for a living see the detrimental effect of too much sunshine, but they know that extinguishing the Sun is not within their power. Likewise, I don't think that Les ever seriously thought for a moment that he had the juice to get a professor fired. Goodness gracious! I'm a TRUSTEE at an SBC seminary and I don't think that I have the clout to get walking papers drawn up for a professor just because I disagree with something that a professor writes or says. Anybody who thinks that Les has the ability to get Andreas Köstenberger fired—anybody who thinks that Les thinks that Les has the ability to get Köstenberger fired—is certifiably out of touch with reality.

I think that Les disagreed with Köstenberger's position, that Köstenberger's paper perhaps seemed to Les to be unduly dismissive of Les's own viewpoint, that Les worried that Köstenberger's reasoning might indicate not only a troublesome conclusion on a particular doctrine but also a troublesome understanding of the nature of Old Testament scripture, and that (here's the crux of the matter) Les wanted to lodge a complaint. Does lodging a complaint mean that Les, if he were hiring new professors for some hypothetical seminary of his own, might not have Andreas Köstenberger at the top of his list? I think it probably means at least that. Does it mean that Les thought he could get Köstenberger fired and had determined to do so? No.

Does it mean that Les was questioning whether Köstenberger belonged at SEBTS? Clearly it did, but it also appears just as clearly that Les was perfectly willing to listen to good answers to his questions. I'll bet that you freely opine as to who ought to be pitching for your favorite baseball team or whether the coach of your favorite football team ought to be fired before next season. Maybe you've even called in to an ESPN radio show or written a Letter to the Editor on the topic. Most people, if and when they gain the actual authority to be able to make hiring and firing decisions, are more judicious, circumspect, and cautious when taking irreversible actions than they are when they are expressing an opinion. Les was just expressing an opinion and asking a question (albeit a definitely pregnant one). He disagreed with Köstenberger's opinion and with Köstenberger's rationale for getting there, and Les was expressing his disagreement.

The real irony here is that the side of Southern Baptist life that styles itself in its promotional material as being the champions of free dissent and transparency in the SBC just dropped a piano on a guy for his choice of words in the mere action of his exercising his freedom to dissent and to lodge a complaint with an SBC entity.

68 comments:

Conscience said...

For some strange reason, when I reproved Wade Burleson for abusing Les in these words below, he understood it as supportive of what I can only consider to be unmitigated abuse.
"Do you really think that turning these disputes into WW3 is helpful to your christian life, those who read you, or those whom you directly affect?
Surely these passages are not nullified or is this being legalistic?
Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.... 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness.
32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.

Romans 15: 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Fri Feb 12, 07:03:00 PM 2010"

As Bob Cleveland has said "And such invective does absolutely nothing to bring credibility to whatever position you hold."
When a man is so sick spiritually as to not see such wickedness for what it is, can he continue as a pastor of a church?

Debbie Kaufman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Debbie Kaufman said...

Let's try this again. :)

Conscience: I read it as his agreeing with the verses you gave not agreeing with your misinterpretation of the passages. :)

Bart: To say the words Les did just further solidifies his intent in my opinion, having read everything including Les' last post. If it were simply an objection to the teaching, there would be no problem. We can disagree. But to put those who do not believe the Bible teaches storehouse tithing(along with long and arduous passages to back it up) also leads to agreement with abortion and homosexuality is nonsense. Pure and simple. To ask the questions Les did concerning those professors employment cannot be construed in any other way than wanting them dismissed. Come on Bart. Reason is a good trait not a bad one.

Joe Blackmon said...

Does it mean that Les thought he could get Köstenberger fired and had determined to do so? No. Does it mean that Les was questioning whether Köstenberger belonged at SEBTS? Clearly it did, but it also appears just as clearly that Les was perfectly willing to listen to good answers to his questions.

And this is really the crux of the whole matter. Anyone can take words completely out of context and spin them to mean what they want them to mean (as someone obviously did). However, as you said, he was asking a question and looking for an answer, not trying to get someone fired.

Any reasonable, intelligent person could see that.

Tom Parker said...

Bart:

You are wrong on this one.

Les tried to get two professors fired. There is no other way to spin it and there is a lot of spinning going on.


Les created this firestorm and in lots of ways I am glad.

He got caught doing something he should not have. He used a CR tactic that had worked so well in the past, but thankfully it did not work this time.

His extreme views have been exposed and two SBC professors still have their jobs.

Tom Parker said...

Bart:

I do want you to be aware that Joe B. had the following to say on another blog:

"First of all, anyone with an ounce of sense (which obviously excludes the dawg and most of his reaadership) could read the email Les wrote and see he was NOT trying to get anybody fired.

Second of all, only a pile of human excrament with the integrity of belly button lint would take fragments of a private email and make them public.

Of course, it takes one with a yellow strip running down their back to praise another of the same stripe."

Do you consider that an acceptable comment?

Joe Blackmon said...

Les tried to get two professors fired

Nope. He only asked a question. The only "spin" being put on Les' email is being done by the SBC's resident spin doctor. He asked a question. He got an answer. As much as someone wants to pretend like they have some big S on their chest everyone with sense realizes exactly what went on here and that the hero in his own mind didn't do anything but try to start a bunch of crap for his own edification.

Tom Parker said...

Joe B:

Do you regret your ugly comment?

Tom Parker said...

Bart:

Les said:"To me, the authors are attacking the authority of the Bible itself.

The authority of Scripture was the main battle that resulted in the Conservative Resurgence. However, as other bloggers and commentators have written, the battle for the Bible is not over. We continue to see liberal Christians saying that the Scriptures are not valid for teaching that homosexuality is a sin. Others say because Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, then He had no problem with it. To me, these arguments are illogical and deny the whole witness of Holy Scripture. Jesus never said anything about abortion, but are we to infer from His silence on this issue, that Jesus was pro-choice? The OT is filled with scripture about the preciousness of life and the law forbids murder, however, the NT says virtually nothing in these regards. Are we then supposed to throw out the OT teachings? I say no. "

Can you and others not see Les was accusing the two professors of being of the above comment and wanting them removed?

I do take note of the fact that Les mentioned the CR.

Joe Blackmon said...

Nope, he was asking a question. He got an answer. The only people who see it differently are those who WANT to see it differently.

Tom Parker said...

Bart:

Do you believe in "storehouse tithing" and/or do you actually practice this?

Bart Barber said...

I would like to draw attention back to the main points of the post:

1. I'm just trying to put it onto the record that I personally spoke with Les Puryear before any controversy took place. He said absolutely nothing to me about trying to get anybody fired. He did ask me about how best to get an alternate scholarly viewpoint published. These facts line up with the contents of his post. While Les's integrity is being questioned, it would be wrong of me, having exculpatory information, not to share it. That's why I published this post.

2. The wording of Les's post definitely did question whether Köstenberger belonged at SEBTS. Les's actions make it clear that he was asking a question rather than attempting to accomplish an objective when he penned those words. He got an answer to his question. It appears to have satisfied him somewhat and dissatisfied him somewhat. He says he was never trying to get anybody fired. I do not believe that he is lying.

3. So, when you boil it down, Les is not leading any sort of a back-room conspiracy. He's advocating for a viewpoint. He's DISAGREEING with a seminary professor. He's COMPLAINING about a seminary. Clearly, there are people in this thread who, when they speak of freedom to disagree and complain, really mean freedom to disagree and complain so long as it is in agreement with their own viewpoint.

peter lumpkins said...

Bart,

Thanks for the info. Les & I have experienced squabbles as you have indicated about yourself. And, with you I trust Les now--whatever disagreements we've had or will have--understands there is another standard (or lack thereof) some men employ in dealing with information presumed to be private. There is no way to disguise it: a dirty, low-down, rotten thing to do.

With that, I am...
Peter

Anonymous said...

Bart:

Thanks for this additional information. It is significant.

Many people now are invested not only intellectually but emotionally in the concept that 2 jobs have been saved.

To believe that, one has to believe that 1) Puryear intended to have the professors fired (nothing short of that will work in story line they want to believe), and 2) The professors were going to be fired until the private correspondence was made public.

The emotion and the feeling of "being on the side of the angels" that has captured these folks is so strong that it is really hard to dialogue with them about the story, and other aspects of the story that are important.

One aspect is the unauthorized us of private correspondence.

A third party's reading and use of private correspondence by someone who is not the recipient, without showing that the recipient or author gave permission, is not appropriate in my opinion.

I believe that is a generally shared opinion among the general public. I know that it is in my profession, the legal profession.

I quipped earlier that it is ironic that bar associations have rules about this sort of thing. I would be disciplined for this. But apparently ministers don't have a similar ethical practice.

Of course, I hold out the possibility (and hope) that the third party here did get the permission of a recipient to read and use the correspondence. It's just that, for me, that is such an important first step before using the correspondence that the third person should address it. If Les is correct, the third party says he doesn't know where the email came from.

Also, the apparent lack of context (which you address) is important.

I have asked people on this blog and elsewhere if they support the reading and use of leaked or stolen correspondence by third parties. I have not heard an answer.

Of course, the answer is no. They clearly don't.

But if they said that, the other issues involved in this saga would get a thorough discussion.

And that destroys the fantasy that "2 jobs were saved."

People cannot bring themselves to ask and answer questions that destroy things to which they are emotionally attached.

So, we should move on with forgiveness all around. We just all need to be more careful because we live in a fallen world. We already knew that. But we see again that even the best of us is fallen.

Louis

Debbie Kaufman said...

Personally Bart, one can disagree with me all they want, just don't try to get me fired or thrown out of a Southern Baptist church or Convention. That is what I wrote. That is what I mean.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Peter: I doubt that you would think it was a low down dirty thing to do if it was directed at you or someone else you support.

Les' letter with I'm sure no intention on his part, attempting to drag someone through the mud who did not need to be drug through the mud. The letter, if it was only to show concern over a teaching, could have been worded quite differently. There are those of us who are Southern Baptists that do not want these two professors to lose their job anymore than there are those of us who would not want Paige Patterson to lose his job. See things differently, definitely. Be excluded? No.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I should add that I am for the fact that it was exposed. It should have been. Things like this should be stopped.

Anonymous said...

Bart:

Had to post this.

I had asked someone if they thought the a third person's use of leaked or stolen correspondence (without the author's or recipient's permission) was appropriate.

Their response: "That's a ridiculous question."

See my above comment.

Louis

Anonymous said...

Debbie:

I'll pose the same question to you:

Do you believe it is appropriate for a third person to read and/or use private correspondence without obtaining the author's or recipient's permission?

This is a sincere question.

You are a thoughtful person. I have seen your comments before on various posts. You don't lose your cool, and you try to dialogue.

You seem to represent a particular view in this matter, and I have been unable to get anyone from your perspective to author an opinion on this question.

What are your thoughts?

Louis

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Debbie,

It's a beautiful day in West Georgia. We haven't seen this much snow in Lord knows when.

Hence, I'll just say, I don't give a jack squat to whom or about whom an email presumed to be private is publicly posted on the internet, an email of origins which apparently not even the poster can identify. For me there is such an animal in God's moral jungle called norms. It's just that simple.

Now, let us enjoy the day God has given us.

With that, I am...
Peter

Dave Miller said...

If any good comes from this whole brouhaha, I hope it will be that a few people will read Croteau and Kostenberger's excellent paper. It is worth reading regardless of your perspective on the issue.

I would offer the following:

1) We should have freedom in our seminaries to advocate different positions if they are based on solid exegesis. The paper at question attempts to be biblical, even if you disagree with its conclusions.

2) Les has the right to dissent from what is being taught at SEBTS, and to express that dissent. I got into blogging mainly to defend the right of dissent during another famous brouhaha.

3) Les should have worded his dissent differently. The email came off a little adversial, even threatening. I doubt that is what he meant, but an impartial reader would get the idea that he was seeking the removal of the professor.

4) The public release by Wade of a private email was unethical. He justifies it because of the extreme circumstance. But really, people, does anyone believe that Danny Akin was going to fire a professor because Les Puryear exercised his right of dissent?

Debbie Kaufman said...

Dave: The CR was begun by two men and the movement grew from there.

Bart Barber said...

In case anyone is interested, I just made one of the better batches of pancakes that I have ever whipped up. I'm almost as proud of them as I am of the Grilled Chicken-Shrimp Enbrochettes that I made last month.

Bart Barber said...

Now, back to business.

Dave Miller, I have not read the paper yet, although I plan to do so. I therefore cannot opine at that particular point of your analysis. Otherwise, I agree with you entirely.

Bart Barber said...

Debbie:

However the CR was begun, it was carried forward by the Lord Jesus Christ through the thousands of ballots of those who love Him and respect His Word.

Dave Miller said...

Debbie, you do not evidence much of an understanding of the CR, and I have no idea why you directed that comment at me.

But there was a widespread dissatisfaction about Southern Baptists about the problem of liberalism in some of our seminaries. It was a widespread grassroots movement. What Dr P and the Judge did was figure out a way to translate that dissatisfaction into change.

They did not produce the CR - it was around for decades. Its seminal moment may have been the 1961 publishing of Dr. Elliot's book (a prof at MWBTS).

What two men did was show how conservatives could turn their dissatisfaction and dismay into a "resurgence."

Again, I have no idea why you directed that comment to me.

Bart Barber said...

Let me say that, with regard to the unethical use of private correspondence, I don't find the greater fault with Wade Burleson. He is what he is. I believe that Les would have known better than to have uttered anything that could possibly be misconstrued in the presence of Wade.

Les didn't choose to trust Wade. He chose to trust somebody else. Somebody else is the real scoundrel here. Whoever it is will probably take comfort in the Antinomian idea that one can behave however they wish on this earth with no reason to think that they will ever have to give an account to Christ for their behavior.

Dave Miller said...

I'd actually love to see your interaction with that paper, Bart. I am not in agreement with Les on this issue (or with you, I guess), so maybe I'm a little prejudiced. I'm not sure I agree with everything they say either.

However, my point is not that everything they say is right, just that it is well argued and deserves a hearing.

Again, I'd love to see someone do a scholarly response to them.

Debbie Kaufman said...

anonymous: I am being honest here. My thought is if there were to be such a letter such as Les wrote and was construed to be asking for the dismissal of a professor or even a minister in the church, and it was revealed by a third party it would be the right thing to do.

I am thinking of the Sherri Klouda incident when I say this among other incidents that have occurred in our denomination the last few years. I did not know about Dr. Klouda until way after she was fired. If many had known before this happened, could it have made a difference? I think it would have. She might possibly still be teaching Hebrew at SWBTS.

Dave Miller said...

Debbie, our integrity cannot be situational. If it is right for one person it is right for another. If it is wrong to release private correspondence in general, then it was unethical for Wade to do it.

Wade does not have special moral standing.

CB Scott said...

Best quote from all of this little set-to comes from Bart Barber:

"He is what he is."

Best reaction to the best quote of this little set-to comes from cb:

"BINGO!!"

Bart Barber said...

Dave,

If I were ever to end a year having given away only 9.99% of my income to the Lord, I would kneel and repent. And yet I'm sympathetic to the concept that the New Testament articulates an even higher standard than the Old Testament tithe. Certainly the emphasis in the New Testament is upon our belonging (along with all of our stuff) to the Lord entirely.

So, I believe that we are under obligation to give cheerfully and that we are to seek to please the Lord with our stewardship. I believe that the tithe in the Old Testament (which, by the way, preceded the Law), gives us some very important evidence as to a minimum level of giving that is pleasing to the Lord.

I'm very willing to listen to an argument that the tithe is part of the ceremonial law, so long as it is coming from someone who gives 10% or more. ;-)

Debbie Kaufman said...

Dave: I believe you know that I am not saying that Wade has a special anything.

But let me give you an admittedly extreme hyperbole situation. If you had word and a letter that contained the fact that someone was to be kidnapped, murdered, or robbed, would you keep it to yourself or would you give it to the police?

I would have published Les' letter if it were in my hands. Without hesitation.

CB Scott said...

Most inaccurate quote of this little set-to comes from Debbie:

"The CR was begun by two men and the movement grew from there."

Most accurate response to the most inaccurate quote of this little set-to comes from Dave:

"Debbie, you do not evidence much of an understanding of the CR...."

Most accurate response to the most accurate response to the most inaccurate quote of this little set-to comes from cb:

"BINGO AGAIN!!!"

Bart Barber said...

At the risk of ratcheting things up higher, allow me to throw this tidbit in here:

Les is the pastor of a Southern Baptist church. For just a moment, let's presume that I'm wrong and others are right and that Les is nefariously pursuing a serious plan to get Andreas Köstenberger canned. Would that be inappropriate? I'm not convinced that it would be inappropriate.

In fact, I can only see a few vantage points from which one could make it out to be something inappropriate:

1. One could have the opinion that nobody anywhere should ever, ever, ever be fired under any circumstances whatsoever. Certainly there are some bleeding-heart liberals who hold that opinion, but you can't come up with that from either the Bible or from sane thinking.

2. One could have the opinion that seminary professors sometimes ought to be fired, but that such matters should be left to the "professionals" without any input from such peons as a local church pastor with a concern.

I utterly reject that view. In my opinion, every pastor in the SBC has not only the right but the OBLIGATION to be keeping careful watch on what is being taught at each and every one of our seminaries.

3. One could have the opinion that pastors can and should get involved in agitating for the firing of professors or other SBC employees, but that they should only do so when such drastic action is well warranted. One might proceed to opine that Les is not well warranted to do so now.

But if someone also is an advocate for freedom to dissent, then it seems to me that one must allow Les the freedom to determine for himself what does or does not rise to that level of action, confident that Dr. Köstenberger (or anyone else) will be safe in his job so long as it is only one pastor or a few people who object so strenuously to what he is teaching. It is only when he begins to teach something that is odious to vast throngs of Southern Baptists that he is in trouble.

The last position is my own. I do not believe that Dr. Köstenberger's employment was ever in jeopardy over this, and I think that Les was entirely within his rights to act as he did.

Tom Parker said...

Bart:

You said:"The last position is my own. I do not believe that Dr. Köstenberger's employment was ever in jeopardy over this, and I think that Les was entirely within his rights to act as he did."

We will never know will we, but I strongly believe Les was trying to get these two professors fired!!


Bart, when you saw Les was in his rights, help me, just what do you mean?

CB Scott said...

I know Dr. Kostenberger's job was at no time in jeopardy over any letter written by Les.

I also believe he was probably more bothered by Wade's making a big deal out of the letter than he was by Les' letter.

I base my position on the fact that I personally know Dr. Kostenberger's personality having worked in the same institution as he for ten years. I also know the administrative structure of SEBTS and know the letter from Les was of no real concern to anyone at SEBTS.

Les and Wade do not Dr. Kostenberger and frankly, know very little of how SEBTS operates.

This is evidenced by the fact that Les wrote the letter in the first place and that Wade had the vain idea that he needed to run to anyone at Southeastern's aid.

Bart Barber said...

Tom:

As to what Les was trying to do, we're both in the position of speculating, but that does not mean that we're in the same position. I'm speculating having spoken directly with him about this specific thing before all of this happened. You're speculating based upon…based upon…based upon what again?

And to clarify what I meant about Les being within his rights as a pastor, I meant exactly what I wrote in rebuttal to position #2.

Now, Tom, which of those positions identifies your own, or do you disagree with all 3?

Bart Barber said...

Debbie, any time you should come across the contents of private conversation that require you to call the police, I suggest that you go for it. With regard to those matters for which the police would laugh you out of the station or hang up on you, I recommend that you not publish people's private correspondence without consent.

Dave Miller said...

Bart, the position you described is closer to mine.

1) I do not believe that tithing is a NT mandate.

2) I seriously doubt that people who get hold of the principles of 2 Corinthians 8-9 are going to be giving 2% or whatever the national average is.

Christians who are filled with the Spirit and invested in the kingdom give "as much as they are able and even beyond their ability." They don't do that by moving a decimal point but by investing "themselves first" then their money.

If Christians were truly sold out to Christ and invested in the Kingdom, I doubt that teachings on tithing would be relevant.

Joe Blackmon said...

Has anyone noticed that the people who think publishing someone's private email publicly wihtout consent have a few things in common:

1-They consider the Conservative Resurrgence to be a bad thing (mainstream/moderate christians).

2-They are the same people that howled with righteous indignation at steps taken by President Bush to make the country more secure by evesdropping on suspected terrorists and their supportes cellphone conversations.

Isn't it odd how President Bush and his administration doing what he did is such a TERRIBLE thing but when a too-big-for-his-britches blogger who is obviously trying to make a name for himself and power grab does the EXACT SAME THING it is defended?

Wow, that's pretty funny. Of course, Christians realize that Les didn't do anything wrong.

chadwick said...

SHAZAM!!!

BART BARBER & PETER LUMPKINS JOINING FORCES WITH LES PURYEAR!!! . . . TO BATTLE AGAINST . . . . YOU KNOW WHO!!!

THIS CALLS FOR A DOUBLE SHAZAM!!!

These recent posts & comment threads (about the third party email debacle) brings back a fleeting memory of excitement that blogging produced in its heyday era (way back in 2006-2008)!

--chadwick

Tom Parker said...

Bart:

You said to me:" based upon…based upon…based upon what again?"

You really ought to get that stutter check out. Smile.

I find it interesting that you and Mr. Lumpkins and others once ripped Les P. to shreds and now you all defend him. Boy with friends like that who needs enemies.

chadwick said...

TOM:

That Bart, Les, & Peter stand hand in hand against Sheriff 'Wade D.s' less than desirable blogging practices. . . that should tell you something about Sheriff 'Wade D'.

With a sheriff like 'Wade D.' who needs ethics?

David R. Brumbelow said...

Bart,
I'd like to congratulate you on your pancakes.
God uses good cooking!
David R. Brumbelow

CB Scott said...

I want everyone to know that it was me who originally said:

" I seriously doubt that people who get hold of the principles of 2 Corinthians 8-9 are going to be giving 2% or whatever the national average is.

Christians who are filled with the Spirit and invested in the kingdom give "as much as they are able and even beyond their ability." They don't do that by moving a decimal point but by investing "themselves first" then their money.

If Christians were truly sold out to Christ and invested in the Kingdom, I doubt that teachings on tithing would be relevant."

But Dave Miller was given my email that contained this great spiritual wisdom by some low-life and he has posted it as his own.
The sad thing is; Dave don't even live in Oklahoma where such rude behavior is considered to be proper Christian conduct.

Dave Miller said...

I may have to look through my email files CB, and see if there is anything else I can post.

Joe Blackmon said...

The sad thing is; Dave don't even live in Oklahoma where such rude behavior is considered to be proper Christian conduct.

Best.Comment.Ever

Bart Barber said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have placed a phone call to C. B. Scott. Genius like that ought to be celebrated.

Bart Barber said...

Tom Parker:

I'm glad that you have taken note of how strained my relationship has been with Les Puryear. That very fact, in my opinion, is one of the strongest pieces of evidence that the Holy Spirit might use to convince you that I am telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Darby Livingston said...

Bart you said,

"In case anyone is interested, I just made one of the better batches of pancakes that I have ever whipped up. I'm almost as proud of them as I am of the Grilled Chicken-Shrimp Enbrochettes that I made last month."

That is great. Did you learn to do this at the Southwestern Home-ec department? :)

Wayne Smith said...

Bart,

Thanks for this post to let the Light Shine in on what I consider the LOW of the LOWEST. I say a Big AMEN to your comments, as well as Dave Miller’s and LASTLY to CB SCOTT’S. To think back to my comments about seeing Hearts in some Bloggers, I sure was misled by the Master Blogger from OK. May God have Mersey on Him and his Wild Geese, as CB would say?

Wayne

Tom Parker said...

I disagree Wayne Smith. I am very thankful that Wade Burleson shown the light on Les P. trying to get two professors of the SBC fired.

BTW do you practice storehouse giving?

Joe Blackmon said...

Again, the only people who see what Les said in the email as an attempt to get someone fired are people who:

--hate the doctrinal convictions of those who stood for the Bible in the Conservative Resurrgence.

--WANT to see it as Les trying to get someone fired.

--have doctrinal convictions that could best be described as mainstream/moderate a la Bruce Prescott and that crew.

That sound about right.

Dave Miller said...

Joe, I think I have to disagree with your comment.

Perhaps Les was not officially trying to get the profs fired, but I think it is a fair reading of his comment to say that he was questioning whether these professors should have their jobs.

I am generally supportive of Les, but when I read the email, I think he was suggesting that Dr. Akin should consider firing the prof.

But, to address Tom.

First, Les is not a "power player" in the SBC. (We'd all like to think we are powerful bloggers, but what we are is talkers and we have very little power.) Les is not a power broker.

Les has every right as a Southern Baptist to express his opinion that a man should not be a professor.

If he were chair of the trustees, or a convention officer, then perhaps we would have to question what he was doing.

I could write to your community college and tell them to fire you, Tom. Would they do it? Of course not. I have no standing.

So, this is a tempest in a teapot. Wade has tried to see a huge scandal where none exists. To further that supposed scandal, he revealed a confidential email.

I will say this - whomever revealed that email to Wade should be fired. Confidentiality is not the silly, minor issue that Wade seems to think it is.

So, basically, I am saying to both Tom and Joe - the extreme rhetoric is not helpful in a situation like this.

CB Scott said...

I probably agree with Dave Miller in the entirety of his comment with one exception. Les does have a degree of leader recognition in the SBC.

I greatly agree with his statement about the source person who gave the email to Wade.

During my years at SEBTS, the revealing of the contents of a private email could get you fired.

Also, I do not believe the source came from Danny Akin's office.

It is a serious thing to use private communication in the way it was used here.

Funny thing here is that there are some folks in Blog Town who would be on pins and needles if "we" all believed it was no breech of integrity to reveal the content of personal emails.

Sometimes hypocrisy knows no bounds.

CB Scott said...

Tom Parker,

Let me say that although I do believe Les to have a degree or leader recognition in the SBC, there is no way on this earth he could get Dr. Kostenberger fired at SEBTS over his position on storehouse tithing.

Tom, there will never be any truth found of a possibility that Les could get him fired. It would be like having proof that I have been secretly married to Tim Rogers for the last thirty-eight years. There ain't no proof of it, because there is no possibility of it in this life or the one to come. And not one person on this earth who knows cb or Tim Rogers would put any credibility in the story anyway.

Tom the same is true in this situation. No one on this earth who has any real knowledge of SEBTS (or any other SBC seminary for that matter), its administration or the way it conducts business would believe Les could cause Dr. Kostenberger to lose his job over this matter.

Again Tom, as I said earlier, I would think Dr Kostenberger would be more bothered about Wade getting involved in this situation than he ever would be about the email Les sent to Danny Akin.

Paul Pressler wrote a great book entitled: A HILL ON WHICH TO DIE. I can assure you this mole hill ain't one on which any person with any true understanding of the SBC would have chosen to die and certainly would never have posted a post about and then later post one entitled: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. There was no mission to accomplish and in the end all that was accomplished was embarrassment to those involved.

selahV said...

CB...tain't so, dear sir! tain't so. You write: "Dave don't even live in Oklahoma where such rude behavior is considered to be proper Christian conduct."

My husband and I reside in Oklahoma, and so do many fine Christians who do not think "such rude behavior is considered to be proper Christian conduct." Just tain't so, dear brother

There are still some folks who do not think it appropriate to publish another's emails without first asking permission to do so. Unh, hunh. :) hariette petersen (a.k.a. selahV)

Tim Rogers said...

Brother Bart,

I was perusing the comment stream enjoying the various comments and then Brother CB comes into the stream. What does he do? He comes in and uses my name in vain. Let me say for the entire blog world, I HAVE NOT BEEN MARRIED TO CB.

I see Wayne Smith agreeing with CB, I see Bart Barber, Peter Lumpkins and over at BaptistLife.com Big Daddy Weaver, defending Les Puryear. Now, CB Scott has come out of the closet and admitted to a secret affection for me. I will not be wearing anything pink, nor splashing on Old Spice around him again. :)

Now to the Fact File. I know Les did not want to get anyone fired, because he did not go the route that is usually done. You blanket the Trustees with the paper, then you contact personally the Trustees, then you present our evidence to a small group of them, then youask them to take action or you place the issue on the floor of the convention. Les doesn't desire to see anyone fired. He merely desires to see people teach in accordance with, and not contrary to, the BF&M

Blessings,
Tim

selahV said...

Bart, I'm thinking that with all the agreeing going on among brothers who haven't been agreeing on most matters in the past is a sign that the Holy Spirit is working and we are on the verge of a Holy Ghost revival. My Deliverer is Coming....selahV

CB Scott said...

Well Selah V,

Slap me in the face with a five days in the sun dead cat.

All this time I thought you lived in Kentucky.
I certainly am sorry.......that you don't. :-)

Of all people to be a SOONER. I would never have believed it if you had not told me. Why, Bless your heart! You don't even live in the SEC at all.
Are y'all plannin' to move any time soon? :-)

CB Scott said...

Well Tim,

I would imagine that you perfectly understand how far from possible it is that Les could even under a Blue Moon get Dr. Kostenberger fired??

I kinda figured my illustration would give me at least one supporter to my position. :-) :-)

Ron Phillips, Sr. said...

Methinks that Captain Ahab has decided to become Don Quixote.

How many windmills are in the SBC?

:)

Blessings,

Ron P.

Ron Phillips, Sr. said...

On a serious note. Les as a pastor in Lewisville, NC has no more power to have a professor fired than does a pastor from Enid, OK. ZIP. NADA. NONE.

That is what makes this entire episode (now with multiple posts by Wade) so absurd. Clearly this appears to be a mere publicity stunt aimed to insert oneself into SBC matters by one who long ago became irrelevant by self inflicted means.

Blessings,

Ron P.

Joe Blackmon said...

Dave,

You're probably right. I stand corrected.

Bart Barber said...

Darby,

I toured the Horner House not long ago and was genuinely impressed. I am no scoffer when it comes to that program, and I think that the Pattersons have made a valuable contribution to the seminary at that particular point.

Watching the way that they host people on behalf of the seminary has convicted me about the importance of the New Testament virtue of hospitality, the under-utilization of my parsonage as a tool for reaching people with the gospel and building family bonds among believers in our church, and the potential for enhancing pastoral ministries by equipping pastor-families-in-training in this manner.

And yet, all of that having been said, Darby, I must wonder whether you were referring to the pancakes or the enbrochettes. Surely we all recognize, whatever our background, that "Home-Ec" classes are not permitted to speak to the uniquely male domain of outdoor grilling!

Darby Livingston said...

Bart,

"Surely we all recognize, whatever our background, that "Home-Ec" classes are not permitted to speak to the uniquely male domain of outdoor grilling!"

Well said Sir! Grilling is not really in the domain of Titus 2 homecare but more along the lines of 2 Timothy 2: "What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." Not a good exposition of the text, but... :)

I also agree about the importance of hospitality in Christian mission. Have a blessed Lord's Day.

Scott Gordon said...

Tim & CB...

Who woulda thought?

:-D


I, too, echo the sentiment expressed by those who are using their brains for the purpose of deductive reasoning on this matter...I applaud Les' convictions (& fully agree with him, too!) and dismiss those rabid attack dogs who desire self-aggrandizement over the truth.

Sola Gratia!